Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tim Tebow Mania

I wanted to write a note about Tim Tebow before his playoff game today against the New England Patriots. He is now the favorite athlete in the world, and probably the most hated one as well. Everyone has an opinion about him and his evangelical Christian beliefs. I thought it might be a good idea, as a Christian myself, to try to interpret some of his actions for some of my non-Christian friends.

Let's start with what first brought a lot of negative attention to Tim - a 30-second pro-life commercial for "Focus on the Family" shown during the Super Bowl. Here it is:

Seems harmless enough, doesn't it? Yet it was the subject of angry op-ed columns and bloggers for weeks, months even. How dare Tim speak out in favour of a mother keeping her child, rather than choosing abortion. The truth is that Tim's mother chose to have him, in spite of advice from doctors to abort. Tim and his mother wanted women to know that choosing life is a great option.

The fact that the pro-life movement is politically incorrect no doubt accounted for much of the negativity, as a lot of the criticism was levelled even before the commercial aired. One obvious thing about Tim Tebow is that he's not afraid to say what he thinks or live out his convictions.

The second, and main thing, I wanted to touch on is "Tebowing," Tim's propensity to take the time to pray before, during and after games. Many secular people take this as Tim's attempt to coerce God into helping him win. Believe it or not, that's not what Tim is doing, or what genuine Christ-followers do. The goal is not for God to intervene on the field to bring the Denver Broncos victory. Tim prays that, regardless of the outcome, he would conduct himself in such a way that he brings honour to his God. Tim wants to win like everyone else does, but, if you listen to his prayers, they are prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers that he and his teammates - and the opposition - would be injury free and that he would perform to the best of his ability.

If Tim was a selfish, egotistical, prima dona the criticism would be warranted. But he's not, and it's not. He's a good guy who is a good teammate and a quarterback who performs well under pressure. He also has shown that he has a great deal of compassion for those who are less fortunate than he is, spending a great deal of time and effort to make a difference in their lives. I thought this commentary by Charles Adler expressed it well, so I've included the video below. I hope you like it and, win or lose, I wish Tebow all the best. He's certainly not the worst role model out there.

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